BEVO BEAT

Breakfast with Bevo: Not so Smart

Posted February 12th, 2014

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Good morning. Breakfast is served.

It’s February 12th — 43 down, 322 to go.

And 10 till Feb. 22’s Texas Tech-Okie State rematch, in Stillwater.

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YESTERDAY: The Texas men got back on track, beating Marcus Smart-less Oklahoma State. Shaun White‘s bid to win a third straight Olympic gold in the halfpipe ended, as he finished fourth. Kevin Durant (36 points, 10 rebounds) showed up for the Thunder, but Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge (5 of 22, 12 points) not so much. A wire fox terrier proved it was top dog at Westminster. And Roy Oswalt called it a career.

TODAY: Texas softball faces UTSA in its home opener (7 p.m., Longhorn Network). The Texas women play at Kansas State (7 p.m.). Over in Sochi, American Shani Davis tries to become the first male skater to win the 1,000 meters speed skating gold for the third straight Olympics. There’s pairs figure skating and Alpine skiing going on as well. And Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden will hold their weekly live chat (11 a.m., right here on Bevo Beat).

TOMORROW: Team USA plays its first Olympic hockey game, against Slovakia.

Feb. 12 has a sports history. On this date, we lost Tom Landry (2000) at the age of 75; Chan Gailey was hired to replace Barry Switzer as coach of the Dallas Cowboys (1998); Cleveland was awarded an NFL franchise (the Rams, 1937); and Al Spalding opened his sporting goods shop. An industry was born (1876).

Last year on Feb. 12, the International Olympic Committee announced wrestling would be cut from the Summer Olympics starting in 2020.

Today’s sports birthdays: Robert Griffin III (24), Demarco Murray (26), Bill Russell (80) and Cliff Gustafson (83). Other notables: Arsenio Hall (58) and Doobie Brother Michael McDonald (62). Oh, and the mom from “Growing Pains” is 61.

TODAY’S TRIVIA: Former Cowboys coach Tom Landry was a Texan long before he took over in Dallas, just as he was an outstanding defensive back before he became a coach. For which Texas high school and college did Landry play? (Answer is below.)

TODAY’S LEAD: COLLEGE BASKETBALL. So now we know. Oklahoma State missed Marcus Smart‘s 18 points and 7.4 rebounds a game more than Texas missed Jonathan Holmes‘ 13 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Texas 87, Oklahoma State 68 was a big win for the Longhorns. And an equally big loss for the Cowboys.

Holmes’ status for Saturday’s game against West Virginia isn’t known yet, but after the game, Rick Barnes said he’d be surprised if Holmes didn’t play.

Texas didn’t need him Tuesday night.

Oklahoma State certainly could’ve used Smart, serving the first of his three-game suspension.

Texas scored 54 points in the first half. That’s a season high.

Texas hit 11 3-pointers. That’s a season high.

With Holmes out, Barnes started Connor Lammert, who ended up hitting three 3-pointers. That’s a career high.

Javan Felix scored 27 points. That was only two points off a career high.

Tuesday was a must win for both teams. Texas, coming off a loss at Kansas State on Saturday, needed to stop the bleeding. Road trips at Kansas (Feb. 22), Iowa State (Feb. 18) and Oklahoma (March 1) loom. The Longhorns, for now, sit in second place by themselves in the Big 12 race, only one game behind the Jayhawks.

Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-7) has now lost five straight and will face Oklahoma (Saturday) and Baylor in Waco (Feb. 17) without Smart. That five-game losing streak is the longest for OSU since Sean Sutton‘s last team lost six in a row, back in 2008. If Texas needed to stop the bleeding, then Okie State REALLY needed to stop the bleeding.

Here’s our game story ($), and Bohls’ column ($) on the high-scoring Felix, whom he’s calling Texas’ “pop-a-shot guard.” The Daily Oklahoman’s game story noted that it was a good thing for OSU that Holmes didn’t play, because then it really would’ve gotten ugly. The Tulsa World’s coverage included the words “meltdown” and “drubbing.” And the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s game coverage remarked how the Cowboys have dropped “from Top 10 team to Big 12 bottom feeder.” The S-T also advanced tonight’s Baylor-TCU game with a look at the Frogs’ woeful rebounding.

Texas is 46-39 all-time against Oklahoma State (27-15 as Big 12 programs). The Longhorns have won nine of the last 10 matchups at the Erwin Center.

The top portion of the Big 12 men’s standings:

Kansas: 9-2 (18-6 overall)

Texas: 8-3 (19-5)

Oklahoma: 7-4 (18-6)

Kansas State: 7-4 (17-7)

West Virginia: 7-5 (15-10)

Iowa State: 6-5 (18-5)

Sweet tweets: … from Tuesday night’s game.

1. Presumably distraught over having once said “piece of crap,” 8,000 UT fans banned themselves from tonight’s game. (@mikefinger)

2. Lyle Sendlein and Kasey Studdard operating that t-shirt machine gun courtside. Texas could use some of their nastiness up front this fall. (@CedGolden)

3. Huge win for Kansas State – that helps UT. Texas now once again controls its own destiny for a Big 12 title. (Yeah, it’s too early for that) (@KEYESportsBob)

So what else is being written about the Longhorns?

Athletic director Steve Patterson was in Horseshoe Bay on Tuesday, talking UT sports at the Horseshoe Bay Sports Club’s regular meeting. Revenue, facilities, Big 12 expansion, the Longhorn Network, and even the chances of Texas and Texas A&M ever scheduling each other again all were among the day’s topics. Here’s the coverage on that meeting.

AROUND THE BIG 12: The Dallas Morning News’ Rick Gosselin had a nice read on Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro, whose pass-catching skills make him the perfect prospect for today’s NFL. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel wrote on the side-by-side news stories of Smart and Missouri’s Michael Sam, saying each case only proves how ignorant we are. Longtime TCU women’s basketball coach Jeff Mittie is one win away from No. 300 with the Horned Frogs, the Star-Telegram wrote. The Waco Tribune took a look at the seventh-ranked Baylor women — cautiously optimistic. Baylor travels to Texas on Sunday. When OU and Texas Tech meet tonight, it’ll be a high-powered coaching matchup between Lon Kruger and Tubby Smith as well, the Daily Oklahoman featurized. And the paper also took note that football coach Bob Stoops made the right call in not pursuing the Cleveland Browns, given that team’s front-office massacre on Tuesday. The Kansas City Star gave the latest update on injured Jayhawks star Joel Embiid and also took the ever-quickening pulse of Kansas State, coming off the Wildcats’ big upset of Kansas.

AROUND THE FORTY ACRES: What’s going on around UT athletics?

Football: Former Horn Limas Sweed, the Steelers’ second-round pick of 2008, has signed to play for the CFL’s expansion Ottawa Redblacks. At Texas, spring practice starts March 18. The Orange-White Game is April 19, the day before Easter.

Men’s basketball: No. 19 Texas (19-5, 8-3) cruised past Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-7) Tuesday night at the Erwin Center, 87-68. Texas hosts West Virginia on Saturday (7 p.m.).

Women’s basketball: Texas beat Iowa State on Sunday, 71-64, and plays at Kansas State tonight (7 p.m.). The Longhorns host Baylor on Sunday (noon).

Baseball: No. 18 Texas opens its season Friday, a three-game weekend series at Cal. The first home game is Feb. 18, against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6 p.m.).

Softball: Texas dropped from 10th to 15th in national polls. UT plays its home opener ($) tonight vs. UTSA (7 p.m., Longhorn Network). The Longhorns (4-2) went 3-2 over the weekend at the Louisiana Classic, beating North Carolina (7-3) and sweeping No. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette (10-7, 7-3) but falling to Northern Iowa (6-3) and Purdue (5-4). Taylor Thom had a team-high nine hits in 14 at-bats and hit .529 over the weekend. Thom and Erin Shireman (.357, three HRs) were placed on the all-tourney team.

Women’s golf: Texas finished 11th in the two-day Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in California on Tuesday. Bertine Strauss, at 15th, was UT’s top individual finisher. No. 1-ranked USC won the event. Next up for the women is the Allstate Sugar Bowl tournament Feb. 23-25 in New Orleans.

Men’s track: Shot putter Ryan Crouser was named the national male track athlete of the week by the (take a deep breath) U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association — or USTFCCCA — on Monday after he shattered UT’s indoor school record over the weekend with a shot of 68-8, at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic. The men’s and women’s teams will split for this weekend’s Iowa State Classic and the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville.

Women’s track: Like Crouser, Kaitlin Petrillose set a new school mark in the pole vault (14-7¼), at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic. She was the previous record-holder (14-2¼). Petrillose received honorable mention consideration for the USTFCCCA female national athlete of the week.

Men’s tennis: No. 10 Texas lost its first match of the season on Sunday, at No. 22 Illinois, 4-3. It was the second win over a top-10 team in three days for the Illini. The Longhorns play at the ITA National Indoor Championship in Houston this weekend, starting Friday.

Women’s tennis: No. 17 Texas lost to No. 7 Texas A&M on Sunday, 4-2, in the consolation bracket at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Virginia. The Longhorns host No. 16 Northwestern on Saturday and No. 15 Vanderbilt on Sunday, at Penick-Allison.

ON FEB. 12 …

1963: Construction began on St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. It took two-and-a-half years to finish.

1914: The first stone for Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial was put into place. It took eight years to finish.

1855: Michigan State University was established, an even 100 years before Tom Izzo was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

TODAY’S TRIVIA ANSWER: Tom Landry, before becoming a coach, starred as a defensive back for Mission High School and then at the University of Texas in the late 1940s.

TODAY’S LITTLE NUMBER: 19. Consecutive games that Kevin Durant has scored 25 or more points. That’s the second best streak over the past five years in the NBA, behind only, well, himself (29 straight games, back in 2010).

TODAY’S BIGGER NUMBER: 700. Career softball victories for UT coach Connie Clark. She ranks 34th among active coaches in wins.

TODAY’S BIG NUMBER: 1,999,000. Dollars it’d take to buy Charlie Strong’s seven-bedroom, 10,000-plus square foot home in Louisville. It’s for sale.

OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.

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